A lawmaker from Mindanao said he has received reports that drug lords are heavily contributing into the campaign kitties of some politicians in different parts of the country.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers asked government anti-narcotics agencies to intensify the campaign against illicit substances during the election campaign period “as drug lords, narco-politicians and their henchmen are expected to intensify their operations.”
Barbers, chairman of the House Dangerous Drugs Committee, said the reports indicated that drug lords are “buying” influence from some candidates and have intensified the sale of illegal drugs to raise funds for their patrons.
“I am urging officials of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation, and other government anti-drug agencies not to let their guard down and instead intensify the anti-illegal drugs operations during the election period,” he said.
“It is a fact that drug lords befriend and buy influence from some politicians and other government officials—from the national to the local level—who they expect in return to coddle and protect them in the future in exchange for drug money in their campaign kitties,” he added.
He said drug lords always take advantage of election campaign periods as almost all law enforcement agencies, as well as the military, are busy and focused in maintaining peace and order and ensuring solon…clean and honest elections in their areas of responsibility.
Barbers also called on the Bureau of Customs to intensify its intelligence and enforcement operations to prevent the entry of illegal drugs.
This is not the time to relax for our officials in their fight against illegal drugs especially during the election campaign period because drug syndicates would be busy pushing their merchandise to finance their candidates in the upcoming May polls,” he added.
Earlier this week, the Philippine National Police launched the Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations through Reinforcement and Education (ADORE), the final phase of its Oplan Double Barrel anti-drug strategy.
“Basically, we would like to have the end game strategy for this administration by completing the [Oplan] Double Barrel that we started in 2016. This is a commitment by the PNP that through the reinforcement, this is our rehabilitation, recovery and wellness and reintegration of the more than 1.2 million that surrendered,” PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said.
“The PNP is committed to going back to the street now that the environment will allow us to go back to bring the help of the government in this campaign against illegal drugs,” Carlos added.